Fall really is i-cumin in. The trees are coloring up right nice and we have HUGE spiders spinning their webs from one side of the yard (and across the front door- much whapping of body parts while we hope the web still holds its spider) to the other. Sun rise was at 6:50 am! It was dark when the alarm went off! Greek Fests, Oktoberfests, county fairs!
A woman was shopping and held her two quite thick books up and said, "It's gonna take me a while to get through these!" and I said, "The rains will start soon and you'll have plenty of time to read." And then the rain fell and fell hard! And then the sun found a hole in the clouds and lit everything outside with focused light; the deciduous trees were incandescent against the darker green of the pines.
Going to the Puyallup fair to see James Taylor tonight. We will be meeting up with our niece, Brittney, and my sister-in-law, Mary, and Britt and I are going on the rides! Go, roller coasters! I like the spinny rides but no one else will go on them with me except for my sister, Keeli. I cannot bear the idea of ferris wheels, though; too open, too tippy, and I worry that I will accidentally throw myself out of them. What's with that?
The weather is warm, overcast, but the breeze keeps everything lovely. I am looking forward to sitting in the beer garden with my book, Sometimes We're Always Real Same-Same, by Mattox Roesch. I love reading while having a beer, surrounded by people and their conversations, outdoors.
I love this book, too. It's the story of a 17 year-old gangbanger from L.A., Cesar, whose older brother is now in prison for having shot and killed two 15 year-old kids who wanted to leave the gang. Now that the trial is over, their Eskimo mother and Cesar move back to her home town in Alaska, Unalakleet, a village of about 800 people. There he meets his cousin, Go-Boy, a boy everyone knows and loves, a free-spirited young man who wants to make life good for people, but sometimes takes his role too seriously.
Sometimes we're Always Real Same-Same is beautifully written, a first novel, and the author reminds us (as adults) how hard it is to be a teenager growing up without roadmaps.
Cesar brings his big city boy crap with him to Alaska, treating girls without respect, trying to "be the man" in a culture that doesn't recognize that term, and having to live with and deal with the decisions he makes, learning, one mistake at a time, that he needs to think things through.
Go-Boy rides Cesar up and down roads that don't always go any where, talking about his personal philosophy, showing him what sights there are and introducing him to the people Go-Boy is so proud to be a part of, showing Cesar that he, too, is a part of this whole, that he is real same-same, whether he wants to be or not.
I don't want to tell you too much about Go-Boy and his problems, how Cesar finds his way through his childhood, how difficult it must be to live in a country like Alaska full time. I want you to discover it the way I did: one line and one page at a time unrolling ahead, filling your head with the brown and blue images of Unalalkleet.
This book is written and published for grown-ups but is a good addition to that teen crossover shelf. Unbridled Books, $15.95. Available now. Ages 15/16 and up.
P.S. James Taylor was great! The crowd (in that immense venue) was polite, and the rain held off all day and night. Can't get much better than listening to music outside, in the warm, all gathered together for the same reason.
That Christmas I spent in a Cyclone shelter.
3 months ago